Inspector General of the Department of State
Organization: United States Department of State
Activity: The American attorney and State Department official who served as Inspector General of the Department of State and led the Office of Inspector General of the Department of State.
Steven Alan Linick (born 1963) is an American attorney and State Department official who served as Inspector General of the Department of State and led the Office of Inspector General of the Department of State. In 2013, he was nominated by President Barack Obama and was confirmed by the United States Senate. Linick was removed from office by Donald Trump on May 15, 2020, effective in 30 days per federal law, with Stephen Akard appointed acting inspector general in the interim.
Early in his career, Linick served as an Assistant District Attorney in the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office and as an associate at the Newman & Holtzinger law firm in Washington, D.C.
Linick served as an Assistant United States Attorney in California from 1994 to 1999 and Virginia from 1999 to 2006. He also served as Executive Director of the Department of Justice’s National Procurement Fraud Task Force and Deputy Chief of its Fraud Section in the Criminal Division from 2006 to 2010. During his tenure at the Department of Justice, he supervised and participated in white-collar criminal fraud cases involving corruption and contract fraud against the U.S. in Iraq and Afghanistan.
He served as the first Inspector General of the Federal Housing Finance Agency from 2010 until 2013.
Linick began his tenure as the Inspector General for the U.S. Department of State on September 30, 2013. As Inspector General, Linick was the senior official responsible for identifying operational risks within the Department of State and the U.S. Agency for Global Media, assessing the sufficiency of internal controls, and conducting administrative and criminal investigations of waste, fraud, mismanagement, and misconduct. He was responsible for providing oversight to more than 70,000 Department of State and U.S. Agency for Global Media employees, 270 overseas missions and other facilities worldwide, and more than $70 billion in Department of State, U.S. Agency for Global Media, and foreign assistance resources. He also served as the Associate Inspector General for designated overseas contingency operations.
In the midst of the Trump–Ukraine scandal, Linick transferred a packet of documents from Rudy Giuliani by way of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to Judiciary Committee member Jamie Raskin.
Report on retaliation
In 2019, Linick produced a widely read report in which he found that Trump administration officials were retaliating against career diplomats based on politics rather than merit. The report highlighted five examples.
On May 15, 2020 President Trump fired Linick, claiming he had lost confidence in him. Linick had been probing Trump's controversial bypassing of Congress to sell weapons to Saudi Arabia. Linick had also been conducting—as he testified to Congress on June 3, 2020, which was released in a transcript a week later—five investigations into the State Department, including a watchdog investigation into Secretary Mike Pompeo's alleged use of a political appointee as a domestic personal assistant. Linick had also been investigating the Trump administration's sale of arms to Saudi Arabia without congressional approval.